Rules of Disengagement

Have you ever had a friend where it seems like every time you talk to him or her there’s a new boo in their life? I’m that girl…well, kind of. I hung out with an acquaintance recently, and she inquired about my love life. You know how it goes with questions like, “Hey, are you still talking to such-and-such?” “What’s new with you? Seeing anyone?” I laugh at myself internally when answering because I know the person she may be referencing is long gone given such a short time span. I’m not a serial dater. I just keeping it moving when I know things aren’t right. Here are the three questions I try to ask myself to decide if I should move forward with a budding relationship.

  1. Is it a win-win situation?

bendIn 2011, I had a boyfriend. For privacy’s sake, let’s pretend his name is Leon. After 3 or 4 months of dating I broke things off with him due to a misunderstanding. We reconnected about 2 months after our initial break-up. As much as I liked him (and he liked me), it still wasn’t working for me. I felt like I was getting the short end of the stick. Not to sound arrogant, but he was the one reaping the benefits of our relationship. Both parties need to be realistic and willing to give just as much as they expect to get out of the relationship. Compromise requires you to bend, not break. If I ever feel like someone is “mooching” off of me, I’ll be gone fast.

  1. Would I feel shame or embarrassment introducing this person to my family and friends?

or nah1About 5 years ago I dated a man who was 18 years older than me. I have never made it a habit to date older men and typically wouldn’t be attracted to someone that much older than me, but he was a complete sweet heart. If ever a woman wanted to be treated like a queen, he fit the bill. Although there was nothing wrong with him as a person, I still felt weird about introducing him to my family and never did. Their assured disapproval made me think twice about whether or not he was someone I should be with. I liked him but he was in love with me. We agreed we weren’t quite right for each other long-term and broke up.

  1. If my best friend were in the same situation, what advice would I give her/him?

girl byeSimilar to question #2, this helps me to be more objective about what’s really going on. Sometimes (but not always) people from the outside looking in have more clarity because they don’t have a multitude of emotions blocking what should be common sense.

I don’t know if it’s a woman’s intuition, the spirit of discernment, or high detecting BS sensors that are at work. Maybe it’s a combination of sorts. When it comes to love and relationships, I’ve never been afraid to let go of what (or who) I have because there’s an undying hope that I will have my happily-ever-after with a man God has purposed me to marry. Letting go can be simpler than people make it. If you have a $20 bill in your hand, would you be reluctant to give it away when you know you’ve got a winning lottery ticket in your back pocket? Put your faith into action and divorce your past so you can marry your future.

tao

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